Location: Cold Lake, AB
Client: Imperial Oil Resources
Safety is one of the strongest Corporate Values at Aspire and the opportunity to work with an industry leader who has the same values is always a privilege.
Aspire was approached by Imperial Oil Resources Limited to design Wellhead Safety Shrouds. This project was an extension of a previous project to design a wrench for opening and closing steam valves which became too hot to turn by hand.
Taking the conceptual idea for the shrouds and creating detailed drawings was the task of Aspire’s Senior Engineer, Wayne Carey. Wayne was challenged with the task of devising a solution to prevent foreign materials, namely rocks, from becoming projectiles and steam from splashing employees in close proximity to the well.
From the detailed design phase a prototype was fabricated and issued for field evaluation. After a few minor improvements the first run of 75 units left Aspire’s facility, destined for Cold Lake. The next order of approximately the same number followed shortly thereafter.
The heavy oil wells, that the shrouds were designed for, will not produce unless injected with steam at regular intervals. An average steam cycle is about 30 days. With these type of wells there is an open space or “annulus” between the conductor pipe and production casing. This allows rocks and water or snow to accumulate between the time the first steam cycle ends and the next steam cycle starts. This creates a potential safety hazard.
“The shrouds have made a significant improvement in safety for our personnel” said Mahihkan Plant Operations Supervisor, Bill Hogan.